Our purpose is to celebrate excellence in women's writing by creating the first annual prize for English-language fiction published in the United States and Canada.
The goal of this prize is to create a lasting economic impact on the careers of women authors by boosting book sales, improving review coverage, enhancing royalties, increasing book advances and widening readership.
By rewarding authors with a significant financial award, the prize signals support for women's writing accomplishments in both the United States and Canada, and recognizes the importance of acknowledging, celebrating, and promoting women's fiction in both countries.
In creating a network of writing, publishing and business professionals dedicated to championing and supporting this prize, we are confident the Carol Shields Prize for Fiction will inspire imaginations, create role models and expand the passion for books written by women in readers everywhere.
What People Are Saying
"As a woman who has elected a writing life, I am interested in writing away the invisibility of women's lives, looking at writing as an act of redemption. In order to do this I need the companionship, the example, of other women who are writing."
— Carol Shields
"The new Carol Shields Fiction prize will help balance the gender scales in the awarding of North American prizes for excellence in fiction, which, overall, now stand at one-third female to two-thirds male. The UK has such a prize; Canada used to have one. Readers should welcome this initiative."
— Margaret Atwood
"An award that will bring more attention and readership to the work of female writers seems an unquestionably good thing. A women's prize has worked beautifully in the UK, and I'm energized by the thought of having one in [Canada and] the United States as well."
— Jennifer Egan
"I couldn't be more delighted about the much-needed and long overdue Carol Shields Prize for Fiction, which will help bring attention to some of the most important writers in North America."
— Francine Prose
"It's more than a little embarrassing that in the twenty-first century the Carol Shields Prize for Fiction should be necessary to address an obvious gender imbalance in the awarding of literary prizes, but it is. The remedy strikes me as long overdue."
— Richard Russo
"The Carol Shields Prize for Fiction … serves everyone who loves original fiction, and it honours a writer whose work remains beautiful and meaningful."
— Michael Helm
"When we shine a light on women’s writing, possibility gleams in the minds of women and girls—and the Carol Shields Prize for Fiction is a bright, beautiful light. "
— Alissa York
"... a vital, and necessary new award. Anything that celebrates the excellent accomplishment of women’s fiction, and that helps to draw more attention to it, deserves our support. I am certain it will prove a great source of encouragement for women writers from coast to coast to coast."
— Esi Edugyan
"The Carol Shields Prize for Fiction will be a welcome addition to the prizes available for women writers, and will make a difference, as important prizes do, to the careers and lives of the winners."
— Dianne Warren
"A wonderful idea and a long overdue and much needed prize for women fiction writers. I support the project with all my heart."
— Lily Tuck
"I’m very much in favour of the Carol Shields Prize for Fiction. It’s about time that the great caravan of work by women fiction writers should be hailed with recognition in this way."
— Daphne Marlatt
"The Carol Shields Prize for Fiction is a grand idea. There is so much fine work by women that is too often disregarded. I have no doubt that in a decade the list of winners, and the shortlists that precede it, will be their own proof of how deeply appropriate this prize is."
— Scott Turow